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Turks & Caicos Aggressor II
23 - 30 May 2015
Water Temperature: 80° - 83°F
Visibility: 80’ - 100’
Captain LOWEL O’ROURKE
2nd Captain MARK POVEY
Photo Pro SHEA MARKWELL
Instructor KELLY CURRINGTON
Chef AILSA KELLY
Stewardess ANETTE GARCONVILLE
GUESTS: Anthony & Alison, Peggy & William, Frank & Karen, Ron, Joe, Maureen & David, William, Withold, Alan, Bill, Dwayne, and Jocelyn
LOCATION: Turks & Caicos, Northwest Point, West Caicos, French Cay
Sunday – Eel Garden & Amphitheatre - Northwest Point, Providenciales
Monday – Driveway & Boat Cove - West Caicos
Tuesday – Gullies & Spanish Anchor - West Caicos
Wednesday – Half Mile, G-Spot, and Rock-N-Roll - French Cay
Thursday –Elephant Ear Canyon & Magic Mushroom - West Caicos
The salty air blows gently across the marina as the guests are delivered to their private yacht for a week of spectacular diving here in the Turks and Caicos Islands. It’s a busy time as they unpack their gear, set up their cameras, and get their cabins all settled in. While Captain Lowel takes the vessel around to the northwest point of Providenciales (known as Provo to locals), the safety briefing and introductions are completed and the guests dine on their first meal prepared by Chef Ailsa. It’s an early night for most as travel and sleep deprivation set in their bodies start to relax.
The sun peaks over the Amanyara Resort and the tiki huts cast little shadows on the beach as we get ready for our first dive of the trip. Deck briefing given; the guests learn about Eel Garden and all it has to offer them. Man was it a GREAT dive!! They slip into the liquid turquoise and descend to the magic below. Neck crabs, arrow blennies, giant condylactis anemone with sexy shrimp, hawksbill turtle, three residents in gray suits, a green moray AAAAAAND an octopus suspended inverted under a shelf! SPECTACULAR!!
Popcorn in hand and water bottles full; divers were ready for the show at Amphitheatre. As our guest decent over the wall and down into the theatre, the ceiling is lined with a symphony of sponges and black coral humming a rythmic tune and horse-eye jacks danced over the sand in a continuous circling display. The encore was complete once the yellowhead jawfish plie`d their way across the sand. Next we headed over to Driveway where we took a cruise around to find more jawfish, only this time they had eggs and were taunting us. Secretary blennies bobbed in and out of their tiny holes and green turtle glided by checking out the action. We headed over to Boat Cove where a quick sighting of an Eagle ray got the divers excited. Sully (our resident big girl in the gray) cruised around the guests making sure they were practicing good buoyancy on her reef and a pair of Flying Gurnards tap danced around the mooring line.
Our next stop at West Caicos was Gullies. As divers flowed off the dive deck and into the abyss, the sunlight shone through the liquid turquoise and lit up the reef. Atlantic Spadefish danced in the water column and two hawksbill turtles showed off their best sides for all of the photographers. Spanish Anchor always has a lot to offer; if only for the anchor itself, but that is never all it shares. The reefies circled and morays sang their silent song. When the sun set and the reef was dark, the octopus came out to play and a mantis shrimp busied itself with cleaning its den.
French Cay is always a treat when the weather permits us to get out there. We managed to hit all three of the best sites there; Half Mile, G-Spot, and Rock-N-Roll displayed the beauty that makes them favorites of divers and crew alike. The walls are stunning with the sunlight filtering down through liquid turquoise, shining off the massive barrel sponges and gorgonians lining the wall and huge sea fans flowing in the gentle surge. The trifecta of angelfish were making their way around the coral heads photo ready for our photographers. An Octopus was busy trying to get a hermit crab from it’s shell as his impatient friends clambered for their chance to upgrade to a bigger shell (not really his friends after all I would say!). The nurse sharks are very diver friendly at night as they stay very close like puppies while the resident reefies do fly-bys just for fun; like Tom Cruise in Top Gun buzzing the tower just to startle the workers! Makes me giggle every time I see it. Once all divers safely returned to the vessel after the night dive, Captain Lowel headed back to West Caicos in preparation for the morning’s dive.
With the sun rising in a glorious ball of orange and pink over the island and flamingos flying low over the shore, guests awoke to a hot breakfast prepared by Chef Ailsa. Their bodies fueled, tanks full, and briefing given; in to the azure abyss they went in search of the macro wonders at Elephant Ear Canyon. There were pipehorse and pipefish everywhere!! A tiny Atlantic Longarm Octopus only gave us a brief peak before disappearing into his den. The conch were racing across the sand and the gals in the gray suits were patrolling the perimeter. We hadn’t quite had enough fun at West Caicos so we continue at Magic Mushroom where lobsters and crabs seem to have daily meetings. Queen and Gray Angelfish danced around the coralheads and every nook and cranny seemed to be filled with some tiny critter. Out on the wall the barrel sponges were busy keeping our water clean and sea fans swayed in the surge. Sharks patrolled and turtles snacked before settling down for the night. Divers climbed back on board to have their “special” hot chocolate and relax.
They will head back to their homes with hearts full of wonderful memories and an eagerness to plan their next dive vacation!
From the Ocean to You…